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50 facts about country singer Vince Gill

On November 5, 2014, at the 48th annual CMA Awards Gill received the Irving Waugh award for excellence in country music. This was only the fourth time the award had been granted since its inception in 1983. The previous country music artist to receive the award was Johnny Cash. Here are 50 facts about Vince Gill.

1. His name is Vincent Grant "Vince" Gill.

2. He is an American country singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

3. He has achieved commercial success and fame both as frontman to the country rock band Pure Prairie League in the 1970s and as a solo artist beginning in 1983, where his talents as a vocalist and musician have placed him in high demand as a guest vocalist and a duet partner.

4. Gill has recorded more than 20 studio albums.

5. Charted over 40 singles on the U.S. Billboard charts as Hot Country Songs.

6. Has sold more than 26 million albums.

7. He has been honored by the Country Music Association with 18 CMA Awards, including two Entertainer of the Year awards and five Male Vocalist Awards.

8. Gill has also earned 20 Grammy Awards, more than any other male country music artist.

9. In 2007 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

10. On February 4, 2016 Gill was inducted into the Guitar Center Rock Walk by Joe Walsh of the Eagles.

11. Vince Gill was born in Norman, Oklahoma, United States.

12. His mother had a son, Bob Coen, from a previous marriage.

13. Coen was Gill's half-brother, but was considered a full brother by Gill.

14. His father, J. Stanley Gill, was a lawyer and administrative law judge who played in a country music band part-time.

15. His father encouraged Gill to pursue a music career.

16. His father encouraged him to learn to play banjo and guitar, which he did.

17. He can also play bass, mandolin, dobro and fiddle.

18. Gill attended high school at Oklahoma City's Northwest Classen High School.

19. While in high school, he performed bluegrass in the band Mountain Smoke, which built a strong local following.

20. After graduating from high school in 1975, he moved to Louisville, Kentucky, to join the band Bluegrass Alliance.

21. Afterwards he spent a brief amount of time in Ricky Skaggs's Boone Creek band before moving to Los Angeles to join Sundance, a bluegrass group fronted by fiddler Byron Berline.

22. In 1979 Gill joined Pure Prairie League as lead singer, recording three albums with the band.

23. He left Pure Prairie League in 1981 to join Cherry Bombs, the stage band which backed Rodney Crowell.

24. While with Cherry Bombs, he worked with Tony Brown and Emory Gordy Jr., both of whom would later produce many of his albums.

25. Gill debuted on the national scene with the country rock band Pure Prairie League in 1979, appearing on that band's album Can't Hold Back. He is the lead singer on their song "Let Me Love You Tonight".

26. Mark Knopfler once invited him to join Dire Straits, but he declined the offer (although he sang backup on the Dire Straits' album On Every Street).

27. He provided background vocals for the song "Tennessee Line", from Daughtry's second studio album, Leave This Town.

28. Gill has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1991.

29. In July 2011, Gill appeared as a guest on NPR's news quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me.

30. Also in 2011, he appeared on the second of two bluegrass tribute albums for the British rock band The Moody Blues: Moody Bluegrass TWO... Much Love (2011).

31. In February 2012, Gill announced, "For the first time in 30 years, I don't have a record deal. Don't know that I want one."

32. In March 2012, he performed at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky, for its opening night.

33. In April 2012, it was confirmed that Gill had been working with Bonnie Tyler on her upcoming album, performing a duet with her entitled "What You Need from Me".

34. In June 2012, he was touring and performing only bluegrass songs.

35. Gill received the 2,478th star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame on September 6, 2012.

36. On October 15, 2012, it was announced that Gill would be featured in a song by Kelly Clarkson titled "Don't Rush", which appears on Clarkson's first Greatest Hits album.

37. In 2010, Gill officially joined the country swing group The Time Jumpers.

38. On November 5, 2014, at the 48th annual CMA Awards Gill received the Irving Waugh award for excellence in country music. This was only the fourth time the award had been granted since its inception in 1983. The previous country music artist to receive the award was Johnny Cash.

39. In 1968, Gill's older brother, Bob Coen, was involved in a severe car crash. Bob was 22 years old at the time, while Gill was 11. The accident placed him in a coma for three months and left him with non-reversible brain damage. Coen subsequently struggled in life and would lose contact with his family and friends. He died in 1993.

40. Gill wrote the song "It Won't Be the Same This Year" for his brother.

41. He dedicated his 1993 Christmas album Let There Be Peace on Earth and his first televised Christmas special that year to his brother Bob.

42. Gill met country music singer Janis Oliver of Sweethearts of the Rodeo in Los Angeles when they were both starting out in music.

43. Gill and Oliver married in 1980.

44. Gill and Oliver's daughter Jenny was born in 1982.

45. In 1983 the couple moved to Nashville. The two divorced in 1997.

46. Gill met Christian music artist Amy Grant in 1993 when he asked her to perform in his first televised Christmas special. They formed a lasting friendship.

47. In March 2000 they were married.

48. Gill and Grant have one daughter, Corrina.

49. Gill has a keen interest in golf and has been playing since early childhood.

50. A scratch golfer, he has organized and participated in many charity events centered around golf.

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Vince Gill

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